Joseph Stiglitz on broken markets, bad trade deals, and basic incomes by Panoply Media

This week’s guest is a Nobel Prize winner. We like to sprinkle those in every so often.

Joseph Stiglitz revolutionized how economists understood market failures (hence that prize), served as chief economist at The World Bank, led the Council of Economic Advisers under Bill Clinton, has written more great books and articles than I can count, and now leads The Roosevelt Institute. He’s a pretty smart guy.

Markets, Stiglitz argues, are man-made, and we need to make them a lot better. We often treat markets as natural phenomena, but they have rules, their rules create some winners and some losers, and, crucially, those rules can be changed. How to change those rules, and which rules to change, is where Stiglitz’s recent work has focused — work that is known to have caught the eye of Hillary Clinton — and we talk about it at length, as well as:

-Why he became an economist
-The nature of the work that won him the Nobel prize
-His basic explanation of “information asymmetry,” the term for which he’s probably most famous
-His time as the chair of the Council of Economic Advisors
-The unintended consequences that can come from rewriting economic rules, even when it’s being done with good intentions
-Why we can’t use NAFTA to try to understand the Trans-Pacific Partnership
-What a good trade deal would look like in this day and age
-The difference between Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s economic priorities
-Who he’d like to see working at the Treasury Department and on the National Economic Council in the future
-What he thinks about a Universal Basic Income
-What he learned from the economic failings of Venezuela and Greece

The arguments you hear in this podcast are very likely to be things a Clinton administration will be thinking about as it tries to craft a post-Obama economic agenda. So there’s a lot worth mulling over here.


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